Lewis Sperry Chafer
Author of "Satan," "True Evangelism," "He that is Spiritual," "Salvation," etc.
Copyright © 1915
~ out-of-print and in the public domain ~
IT is significant that the Old Testament prophets spoke, in the main, in one comparatively brief period. This was the time in which Israel was approaching and entering her national dispersion under the chastening hand of GOD. It was in the darkest hour of their history that these seers, as by contrast, set forth the unprecedented light of the nation's coming glory. This consensus of prophetic vision has never had a semblance of fulfillment; yet the nation is still divinely preserved, and that, evidently, with this consummation in view (Jeremiah 31:35-37; Matthew 24:31-34).
Some of the prophets spoke before the exile, some during the exile, while others spoke after a remnant, but not the nation, had returned to their land.
While they spoke with individual purpose and style, they were united as one voice on certain great themes. They condemned the nation's sin and predicted the coming chastisement. They saw the judgments about to fall upon the surrounding nations; but these Gentile judgments are in view only as they are related to Israel. Above all they saw their own future blessings, the form and manner of which are too accurately described by them to be misunderstood. Their prophecies expanded into magnificent detail the covenanted reign of David's Son over the House of Jacob for ever.
In tracing these passages scarcely a comment is necessary if the statements are taken in their plain and obvious meaning. Passages are here selected from the many that were spoken by all the prophets concerning the coming King and His Kingdom, and from these Scriptures it will be seen that:
1. Immanuel's Kingdom will be theocratic.
The King will be (a) "Immanuel, God with us"; (b) by human birth a rightful heir to David's throne; (c) born of a virgin in Bethlehem.
(a) The King will be "Immanuel, God with us":
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:22, 2::1).
(b) The King will be heir to David's throne:
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth : and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins" (Isaiah 11:1-5).
"Behold, the day is come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth" (Jeremiah 23:5).
"And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd" (Ezekiel 34:23).
"And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them" (Ezekiel 37:24).
"For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim; afterward shall the children of Israel return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:4, 5).
(c) The King was to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem:
"Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).
"But, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2).
(2). Immanuel's Kingdom will be Heavenly in character.
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4).
"But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins" (Isaiah 11:4, 5).
"Behold, the day is come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, I will cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel" (Jeremiah 33:14-17).
"And in that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safety" (Hosea 2:18).
3. Immanuel's Kingdom will be (a) in the earth; (b) centered at Jerusalem, (c) over regathered and converted Israel, (d) and extending to the nations.
(a) Immanuel's Kingdom will be in the earth:
"Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession" (Psalm 2:8).
"For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).
"He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law" (Isaiah 42:4).
"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth" (Jeremiah 23:5).
"And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one LORD, and his name one" (Zechariah 14:9).
(b) Immanuel's Kingdom will be centered at Jerusalem:
"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:1-8).
"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the Bridegroom rejoiceth over the Bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth" (Isaiah 62:17).
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you" (Zechariah 8:20-23).
"And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24).
(c) Immanuel's Kingdom will be over regathered and converted Israel:
"That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: and the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live" (Deuteronomy 30:3-6).
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:11, 12).
"For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors" (Isaiah 14:1-3; see also 60:1-22).
"In his day Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them: and they shall dwell in their own land" (Jeremiah 23:6-8).
"Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in my anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again into this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God" (Jeremiah 32:37, 38).
"And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honor before all nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good I do unto them:
and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it" (Jeremiah 33:7-9; see also Ezekiel 36:16-38).
"And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms at all: neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: But I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever" (Ezekiel 37:21-25).
"In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; and I will make her that halteth a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in Mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. And thou, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the Kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem" (Micah 4:6-8).
(d) Immanuel's Kingdom shall extend to the nations in the earth:
"Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed" (Psalm 72:11, 17).
"All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name" (Psalm 86:9).
"Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee" (Isaiah 55:5).
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a Kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:18, 14).
"And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Micah 4:2).
"Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD" (Zechariah 8:22).
"And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God" (Amos 9:15).
4. Immanuel's Kingdom will be established by the power of the returning King.
"That then the LORD will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee" (Deuteronomy 30:3).
"Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice" (Psalm 50:3-5).
"For he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth" (Psalm 96:13).
"Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD, and many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation" (Zechariah 2:10-12).
"BEHOLD, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his earning? And who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years" (Malachi 3:1-4).
5. Immanuel's Kingdom will be spiritual:
Not incorporeal, or separate from that which is material; but spiritual in that the will of GOD will be directly effective in all matters of government and conduct. The joy and blessedness of fellowship with GOD will be experienced by all. The poetical, temporal Kingdom will be conducted in perfect righteousness and true holiness. The Kingdom of GOD will again be "in the midst" (Luke 17:21) in the Person of the Messiah King and He will rule in the grace and power of the sevenfold Spirit (Isaiah 11:2, 3). Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely, and the nations shall walk in the light of GOD. "Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. The trees of the field shall clap their hands for joy."
These passages, which might be multiplied many times, may serve to outline the prophet's vision of the features of Messiah's earthly Kingdom which was covenanted to David. This Kingdom has ever been Israel's only hope and was the consolation for which she waited when CHRIST was born (Luke 2:25).
~ end of chapter 3 ~
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